Busick is being held with bail set at $1 million and was ordered to return to court on May 11 for a sounding docket where a preliminary hearing will be scheduled.
VINITA — Legal counsel for an accused quadruple-killer wants the mother of one of the 16-year-old victims to turn over her private investigation notes to the Craig County District Attorney’s office, which would pave a path to making the notes available to the accused killer’s legal team.
Ronnie Dean Busick, 66, of Wichita, Kansas, appeared on Monday in Craig County District Court for his arraignment in the deaths of Danny and Kathy Freeman, their 16-year-old daughter, Ashley, and her friend Lauria Bible, 16.
He is being held with bail set at $1 million and was ordered to return to court on May 11 for a sounding docket where a preliminary hearing will be scheduled.
Gretchen Mosley with the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System filed three motions in Craig County District Court.
Lorene Bible, Lauria’s mother, indicated to the news media and social media that she was already familiar with 95 percent of the information contained in the probable cause affidavit that was used as a basis for the charges because she had personally interviewed most of the witnesses, the motion states.
Mosley said after the hearing that she wants the material Bible has collected to be turned over to the district attorney’s office and then released to her.
The motion states a copy of Bible’s investigative notes and recordings could be used for impeachment purposes. The court document continues that District Attorney Matt Ballard arranged for a “custodial interrogation” of Busick by Bible and Mosley wants any video or audio recordings of the April 26 meeting between Bible and Busick.
On Thursday, April 26, Lorene reported she had spent 20 minutes in the Craig County jail questioning Busick.
“He said he didn’t know anything,” said Bible.
On Tuesday as Busick was being led away to the Craig County jail, he said he would only talk to the families.
Bible jumped on the opportunity and started her quest to talk to the man, who allegedly was among the last people to see her daughter alive.
Bible, who has single-handedly kept a spotlight on Ashley and Lauria’s disappearance for almost two decades, spoke to Busick about his drug use and encouraged him — if his memory becomes clearer and he remembers anything — for him to reach out to authorities.
“I just want to know where my daughter is,” Bible said. “I want to bring her home.”
When she was face-to-face through a glass window with Busick, she said, “I am here to find my daughter — not attack you.”
She also referenced Phil Welch and David Pennington, who have since died, but were identified by authorities as suspects in the quadruple slayings.
“I asked him if he had a child,” Bible said of her meeting with Busick. “He said he used to, but the baby had died of SIDS.”
Bible continued questioning Busick about the infant and told him that his infant was buried in a cemetery.
“You have that — I don’t,” Bible said she told Busick. “I need to bring my daughter home.”
Bible kept telling Busick she wasn’t there to harass him.
“Ma’am, I just wish I knew,” Busick said to Bible’s repeated questions about where the girls’ bodies are located.
Around 3:15 p.m., a lawyer appeared at the jail and told Busick it wasn’t in his best interest to talk to people, she said.
The other motions filed by Mosley seek to identify the witnesses in the probable cause affidavit that are identified by initials and another motion seeks to suppress Busick’s statements made to law enforcement.
“Just because allegations are made doesn’t mean they are true,” Mosley said outside the courtroom.
Mosley said most of the allegations are against Warren Philip Welch II, 61, who died in 2007. A second suspect in the multiple killings and kidnappings is David A. Pennington, 56, who died in 2015.
Wearing navy blue jail clothes and orange flip flops, Busick sat quietly during the 30-minute proceedings before Associate Judge Jess B. Clanton Jr., where he was seen occasionally glancing in the direction of the Bible family.
Mosley filed an entry of appearance on Monday and said in court she expects to be appointed to Busick’s case.
Busick faces two counts of first-degree murder with malice aforethought or accessory to first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, one count of arson or accessory to first-degree arson.
Busick, who has several drug-related convictions in Kansas, has been jailed in Harvey County, Kansas, jail since Feb. 21 on a drug probation violation, according to court officials.
BIBLE/FREEMAN CASE TIMELINE